"From Sarah to Sydney" by June Cummins

From Sarah to Sydney The Woman Behind All-of-a-Kind Family June Cummins, Alexandra Dunietz

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
27 Jul 2021
ISBN:
9780300243550
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
384 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
26 b-w illus.

This is the first and only biography of Sydney Taylor (1904–1978), author of the award-winning All-of-a-Kind Family series of books, the first juvenile novels published by a mainstream publisher to feature Jewish children. The family—based on Taylor’s own as a child—includes five sisters, each two years apart, dressed alike by their fastidious immigrant mother so they all look the same: all-of-a-kind. The four other sisters' names were the same in the books as in their real lives; only the real-life Sarah changed hers to the boyish Sydney while she was in high school.
 
Cummins elucidates the deep connections between the progressive Taylor’s books and American Jewish experiences, arguing that Taylor was deeply influential in the development of national Jewish identity. This biography conveys the vital importance of children’s books in the transmission of Jewish culture and the preservation of ethnic heritage.

June Cummins was professor emerita of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, where she made important contributions to its National Center for the Study of Children's Literature. Alexandra Dunietz is a historian of the medieval Middle East.